Sideloaded apps like Kodi can now be launched from the Fire TV ‘Apps’ section


Amazon has added support for sideloaded apps in the Fire TV interface with the latest 5.0.4 software update. Apps you sideload, like Kodi, will now appear in the Fire TV’s “Apps” section along with apps downloaded from the Amazon Appstore. Sideloaded apps can even be favorited, just like official apps, so that they always appear on the front of your app list. Once older devices, like the 1st-gen Fire TV, are updated to Fire OS 5 next month, they too should gain this ability. Read more ›

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FireStarter updated to v3.2 with one-click Kodi installs and updates

FireStarter, the great Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick sideloaded app launcher, has just been updated byt its developer to version 3.2 with a great new feature. The app can now both install Kodi from scratch or update your current installation of Kodi to the latest version with just a single click. Updating Kodi with FireStarter will preserve your current settings and database. If you’re planning to install both FireStarter and Kodi on a new Fire TV, you might as well install FireStarter first and have it install Kodi to simplify the process. You can find this new ability in FireStarters “Updates” section. Be sure to hit the “Check for Update” button first before installing or updating Kodi with FireStarter to ensure you get the latest version. If Kodi is not installed on your Fire TV, selecting the”Update to latest Version” button will install Kodi from scratch.

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Kodi can be moved to external USB or MicroSD storage on Fire OS 5 and 2nd-Gen Fire TV

Last week I wrote about a change in Fire OS 5 that prevents apps from freely writing to external storage without first explicitly asking for permission. Since the stable release of Kodi has not yet been updated to ask for this permission, it prevents owners of 2nd-gen Fire TVs from moving Kodi’s database and/or thumbnail files to any directory they want on external storage. Thanks to a tip from CCIE_Study on Reddit and jocala on XDA, it turns out all apps, including Kodi, can freely write to their own sandboxed external directory in Fire OS 5 without having to first ask for permission. This means it’s possible to move Kodi files to external USB drives or microSD cards on the 2nd-gen Fire TV. I’ve updated my guide for moving all or some of Kodi’s files to external storage to work with all versions of the Fire TV and all types of external storage.

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Some apps, like Kodi, cannot write to external storage yet on Fire OS 5 due to missing Android Lollipop support


Fire OS 5, the latest version of the Fire TV operating system, ships on the 2nd-gen Fire TV and is coming to the 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick soon. As you probably know, Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. With the upgrade comes Androids new tighter restrictions on app permissions. One of those new restrictions in Android forces apps to explicitly ask for your permission before they’re allowed to modify files on external storage devices. Some apps, including Kodi, have not yet been updated to request these new permissions, so are unable to modify files on a microSD card or USB drive connected to a Fire TV running Fire OS 5. This is why you cannot currently fully move Kodi to external storage on Fire OS 5. Read more ›

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How to sideload apps like Kodi onto the Fire TV — Using nothing but the Fire TV

With the addition of ES File Explorer to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s appstore, it is now possible to sideload apps like Kodi using nothing but your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. You don’t need a computer, ADB, a utility like adbFire, or even a USB drive. You can do it all with just your Fire TV remote from the comfort of your couch. This guide will show you how to sideload Kodi, but can easily be adapted to work for any APK downloadable from a website. Read more ›

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Kodi may be sideloadable on the new Apple TV without jailbreaking

A few months ago, Apple changed their policy to no longer require membership in their $99 developer program in order to test apps on Apple devices. This means anyone can sideload apps onto iOS devices without having to pay Apple or jailbreak their device. The new Apple TV runs tvOS which is heavily based off of iOS, so it’s likely these same new lax rules for loading unofficial apps also apply to the new Apple TV. This may mean that it will be possible to sideload Kodi onto the new Apple TV without jailbreaking.

If sideloading Kodi onto the new Apple TV is possible, the process will be significantly more difficult than sideloading Kodi onto the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. For starters, it will only be possible with an Apple computer. You will need to use Xcode, Apple’s development software, and compile Kodi yourself using the app’s source code. Even if you have the required Apple hardware and the proficiency to compile your own Apple TV software, there’s no guarantee the current iOS version of Kodi will work for the new Apple TV. If that’s the case, I’d imagine that supporting a device with such a difficult installation path wouldn’t be high on the Kodi team’s list of priorities.

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Kodi remains barred from the Amazon Appstore while Amazon hypocritically lists Fire TVs preloaded with Piracy Add-Ons

When Amazon removed Kodi from their Android appstore earlier this year, it was likely an attempt to distance the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick from their growing reputation of being good devices for consuming pirated content. That reputation is now being propagated on Amazon’s own site. Over the past few days, an influx of third-party sellers (1) (2) (3) have managed to list Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks on that come pre-installed with Kodi, as well as several third-party piracy add-ons that illegally stream copyright content. These listings are not shy about advertising the fact that buyers can watch “ALL TV shows, ALL movies and many many PPV events” with “No monthly fee!” Of course, they conveniently fail to mention that using any of these pre-configured devices is illegal under US copyright laws.

Should copyright holders bar Amazon from selling Fire TV devices altogether due to the actions of these third-party sellers? Of course not. I’m sure Amazon is unaware of the true nature of these listings and that they’ll likely be removed now that I’ve brought attention to them. However, it’s hypocritical for Amazon to punish Kodi for the actions of unsanctioned third-party individuals, who are out of Kodi’s control, when Amazon themselves can’t keep these nefarious third-party piracy advocates off of their own website, which is completely within their control. Just as copyright holders should not take down Amazon for the actions of a third-party seller, Amazon should not take down Kodi for the actions of third-party add-ons. #FreeKODI

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Paid Kodi clone gets approved for the Fire TV — WTF Amazon?

Just over a month after Amazon unfairly removed the official Kodi app from the Amazon Appstore for the false reputation of “fascilitating piracy”, today one of the unofficial Kodi clones has been approved for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick appstore. To make matters worse, this Kodi clone, which Amazon is negligently promoting by approving it to the realtively small Fire TV appstore, is ripping off users by charging $2.99 for what appears to be just the free Kodi app. Read more ›

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Kodi 15.0 “Isengard” Media Center Officially Released


The final version of Kodi 15.0, named Isengard, has been released by the talented folks over at the XBMC Foundation. It’s now available across all platforms, including Android which runs perfectly on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. In addition to being packed full of bug fixes and performance enhancements, the new version of Kodi features several great new features. Read more ›

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SPMC requests app withdrawal to protest Kodi’s removal from Amazon Appstore


The developer of SPMC, the most popular unofficial spinoff of Kodi, has requested for Amazon to remove his app from the Amazon Appstore in protest of Amazon’s decision to remove Kodi from their appstore last week. Koying, the developer of SPMC, says there is no way for a developer to remove their app themselves, so he has submitted a support ticket for its removal and is currently waiting for Amazon’s response. In his message to Amazon, he writes “In light of your ridiculous removal of Kodi from you store and by solidarity, I hereby request that you remove my SPMC (com.semperpax.spmc) app from your store.” Koying’s decision is bold and garners respect, especially considering his app would have been in a position to gain in popularity following the removal of Kodi. #freeKodi

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Amazon Appstore removed Kodi for false reputation of “facilitating piracy”, while Google Play Store approves Kodi


Last week, Amazon suddenly removed Kodi from the Amazon appstore. The removal came as a shock to both the Kodi community and its developer team, who were not given prior notice of the removal, nor the courtesy of an explanation. After inquiring, the Kodi team have now heard back from Amazon and have informed me that the reason given for the app’s removal is Amazon’s absurd determination that the app can “facilitate the piracy or illegal download of content.” (See Amazon’s full email below.) Amazon has falsely labeled Kodi as a piracy app, while today, the Google Play Store has embraced Kodi by officially approving it into their appstore. Read more ›

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Answering the question: Can and will Amazon block sideloading or Kodi on the Fire TV?

The question of whether Amazon can or will block sideloading apps, specifically Kodi, on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick comes up often. The recent removal of Kodi from the Amazon appstore has stirred up this concern more than ever. The short answer is yes, Amazon can technically block sideloading with a software update, but in my opinion, it is so extremely unlikely to happen, that you shouldn’t worry about it one bit. Read on for a more detailed explanation of why that’s the case. Read more ›

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How to launch Kodi (or any app) by double pressing the HOME button

The quest to more easily launch Kodi, or other sideloaded app, seems never ending. I’ve covered several methods in the past which make launching sideloaded apps faster, but with the recent release of FireStarter, you can now launch any app by simply pressing the HOME button on your remote control twice. You can set it to launch your most used app, like Kodi, or even set it to launch an alternate launcher, like FiredTV. The best part is it works on either the Fire TV or Fire TV stick and does not require root. Read more ›

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Kodi removed from the Amazon Appstore

Kodi, the open source media player that so many love, has been entirely removed from the Amazon Appstore. The app was never available on the Fire TV appstore, but a few months ago, it was surprisingly approved by the Amazon Appstore for smartphones and tablets. I say surprisingly because Kodi is not in, and has never been in, the Google Play Store nor the Apple Appstore. The reasons for this are complicated, but they stem from licensing issues and Kodi’s open source nature. It’s unclear at this time why Kodi was removed and whether or not it will return. Read more ›

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How to repeat a video forever on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick with Kodi

The question of how to repeat a video file forever on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick seems to come up fairly frequently. While the default video player is incapable of doing this, the ever mighty Kodi app can perform this task with ease. Read on for a step by step guide. Read more ›

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How to install a Kodi skin on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

Kodi is the most popular sideloaded app for the Fire TV. Its media playing abilities are unmatched by any other app. While many are perfectly happy with its default interface, Kodi has a large skin library that can completely change the look and feel of the app to match your personal preference. The release of Hitcher’s Fire TV skin last week can even make Kodi mimic the Fire TV’s defualt interface. This guide will show you how to install a custom Kodi skin on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It also goes a step further and shows you how to configure Hitcher’s Fire TV skin to better replicate the Fire TV interface. Read more ›

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Beautifully detailed Fire TV skin for Kodi released

It’s hard to believe, but the screenshots in this post are not images of the Fire TV interface. They are screenshots of Kodi. The incredibly skilled Kodi skinner Kevin (aka Hitcher) has released a skin for Kodi that makes it look exactly like Amazon’s Fire TV interface. He has been working on the skin for months and just released the first alpha version. It looks absolutely amazing and perfectly replicates the Fire TV interface, down to the tiny nuances. You can download the skin from here, and while you’re there, hit the donate button on that page to support Hitcher’s efforts and show your appreciation.


Note that this skin works best with the new “Isengard” beta version of Kodi. See the thread linked above for more details. Thanks kingofenglandrew for pointing that out in the comments.

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How to partially or entirely move Kodi data to external USB or MicroSD storage

The Fire TV’s support for external storage is great, but it has one major flaw. You cannot move an apps “data” files to external storage. You can only move the app itself. For the case of Kodi, its “data” files include the vast majority of the storage space it uses. Luckily, Kodi supports advanced features which allow you to reassign where it stores its data files. Through these advanced settings, you can move all of Kodi’s data files to external storage. This guide will show you how to move all of Kodi’s data files to external storage, or if you prefer, just Kodi’s thumbnail directory. Read more ›

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How to restore Kodi or other sideloaded app to the Recent list on the Fire TV



This guide is outdated. Go here for the new updated method.

Read more ›

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Kodi fully compatible with Fire TV update and USB Storage

The big question everyone always seems to have when a new Fire TV update rolls around is if it negatively affects Kodi in any way. You’ll be happy to hear that several people who were lucky enough to be among the first to receive the new update have chimed in to let us know that Kodi is still fully functional. You can still sideload and launch Kodi just like before. Even better is that Kodi can fully access and play media files stored on an attached USB drive (as reported by Peter, Hitcher, and Cabe). Additionally, it appears that you can move Kodi itself onto an attached USB drive, but Kodi’s data, where the large thumbnail directory is stored, does not get moved to the USB drive. Keeping the thumbnails on the Fire TV’s internal storage is ideal for smooth scrolling through your Kodi library, however it’s likely possible to move the thumbnails to USB storage as well by editing Kodi’s advanced settings. I’ll look into this further and create a guide if it is in fact possible.

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